Tension over the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown reached a boiling point in St. Louis, Missouri, over the weekend. The unarmed teen was killed by police officers in his hometown on Saturday, reportedly just a few days before he was set to start college on Monday (August 11).
Protests on Saturday turned into looting on Sunday night, when a SWAT team descended on the town with tear gas to disperse looters, with 32 arrested and 2 police officers injured in the aftermath. Another protest scheduled for Monday morning (August 11) has been canceled, with Ferguson mayor James Knowles warning that any residents who show up will be arrested.
Brown's shooting once again raised an outcry over police brutality, with this latest incident taking place just a few weeks after another unarmed man, Eric Garner, was killed by a police officer in Staten Island, New York.
Hundreds of people gathered near the site of Brown's death on Saturday, with their hands raised, chanting "Don't shoot me." According to several eyewitness, the teen - who was last seen by his grandmother just a few minutes before his death -- had surrendered before cops opened fire on him.
A 19-year-old woman named Piaget Crenshaw, told the St Louis Post-Dispatch that she saw an officer attempting to put Brown in a squad car before the teen raised his hands in the air and made an attempt to flee.
"My grandson never even got into a fight," Desiree Harris told reporters. "He was just looking forward to getting on with his life. He was on his way."
The St. Louis chapter of the NAACP is seeking an FBI probe into the shooting, which took place in a predominantly black suburb of St. Louis. "With the recent events of a young man killed by the police in New York City and with Trayvon Martin and with all the other African-American young men that have been killed by police officers ... this is a dire concern to the NAACP, especially our local organization," NAACP member John Gaskin said.
Multiple reports have focused on the looting that took place following the protests, which has only caused more anger, outrage and claims that the media has shifted attention from the teen's death to the reaction by some Ferguson residents.
According to CNN, the officer who killed Brown is currently on paid administrative leave while the St. Louis County Police Department conducts an independent investigation.
News of Brown's death has become a source of national grief, with thousands sharing their outrage using the hashtag #MikeBrown on Twitter.